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Yahoo snaps up video chat start-up OnTheAir

04 Dec 2012

Yahoo has acquired a five-employee start-up called OnTheAir, which a video chat service similar to Skype or Google+ Hangouts.

The small startup was purchased by Yahoo in attempt to grow its stable of employee talent.

"Hiring the most talented mobile product thinkers and engineers is a big priority for us moving forward," said senior vice president of emerging products and technology at Yahoo Adam Cahan.

"Abel, Dan, Erik, Josh, and Mike are a great addition to Yahoo, and we can't wait to work with them to create the best possible mobile experience for our users."

The deal comes following another small acquisition from Yahoo earlier this year. Yahoo bought the nine member start-up Stamped last October.

Yahoo's two acquisitions go in line with a recent call from company chief executive Marissa Mayer. Mayer said that Yahoo would begin to start making minor acquisitions with the hopes of acquiring solid employee talent.

According to principal analyst at research firm Pund-IT Charles King, the push for talent-based acquisitions makes sense for Yahoo. King told V3 that the moves will help establish a strong employee brand for Yahoo. He also pointed out that the modest size of the deals means Yahoo has not overspent.

"In concert with the Stamped deal earlier this fall, the deal for OnTheAir suggests that Mayer believes that Yahoo is better served by developing its own branded offerings than partnering up with larger players," King said.

"That means that the company's efforts and results will be relatively modest to begin with but that their achievements will be all their own. Overall, that seems to be a better outcome from a brand-building perspective and the modest size of these deals means that Yahoo pursuing this goal prudently so far as cost is concerned."

Mayer has quickly attempted to put her own stamp on Yahoo since taking over the firm last July.

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James Dohnert

James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club,, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.

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